Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Indian-Spiced Rice Pudding

I came across this recipe for rice pudding on Sassy Radish and I just couldn't wait to try it. Strangely enough, the night that I made my Indian Lamb Chops with Curried Cauliflower I actually looked for an Indian-inspired rice pudding recipe. I checked all of my usual sources, but didn't find a recipe that sounded like what I was looking for, so we just had fresh mangoes for dessert.  And then a few days later I came across this recipe and then bookmarked it for sometime in the future.  Luckily, the future is now.  I adapted it a little to use some of the fancy cinnamon I picked up at Kalustyans, because I love cinnamon in rice pudding, but I kept the majority of the recipe as written.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This rice pudding is delicious, subtly spiced and wonderfully sweet.  It is the perfect comforting dessert for a cold snowy day.  I love the perfume of the cardamom and cinnamon as the rice pudding simmers away on the stove.  It made my entire apartment smell luscious.  And since we used Indian spices, I figure it's not too out of the box from the rest of the all Asian-inspired menu for the week of Chinese New Year.  I was going to make my favorite Chinese cookies today, which would have been squarely within the parameters of my menu, but those will have to wait until the weekend so I can pick up more almond flour!

Recipe after the jump!

Indian-Spiced Rice Pudding 
Adapted from Sassy Radish

4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Aroborio rice
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/2 vanilla split bean, split and seeds scraped out
3-4 cardamom pods, cracked, seeds ground in a spice grinder 
1 whole bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used Vietnamese, but regular cinnamon will do)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup raw, shelled pistachios (slightly toasted for a dry pan over low heat for 5 minutes)

Place all the ingredients, except for the pistachios in a medium saucepan. Over medium to low-medium heat, bring to a gentle boil and then reduce to simmer, stirring periodically to ensure that the bottom layer of rice doesn’t get stuck or burnt. Cook for about 30-35 minutes tasting at the end for doneness. The rice granules should be soft, but slightly firm to the bite when using Arborio rice (like risotto - creamy, but with some texture).

Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with toasted pistachios. 

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